The typical small business phone plan of AT&T Inc. is available at about 50 dollars per month in the United States which offers infinite local and long-distance calls. This plan offers the features like caller ID, call waiting and call forwarding. But most advanced features are not included in this plan; they include: voicemail and email mailbox integration and voicemail transcription. Moreover, this phone service cannot be used wherever there is availability of an internet connection.
Infinite calls for just 50 dollars per month surely overwhelms the era of 0.20 dollars per minute long distance calls, but when compared to the cloud services, this small business phone plan is nothing. Actually, cloud computing has transformed the voice communications and it is an open dare to the supremacy of traditional telecommunication.
When other telecommunication companies like Vonage and RingCentral are considered, a visible difference can be seen. Vonage presents all the features of AT&T service along with free global landline calls to more than 60 countries and unlimited international calls to mobile to almost 10 countries for just 25.99 dollars per month.
RingCentral’s Cloud service provides all the facilities of AT&T service for just 40 dollars per month. It also presents the features like a virtual receptionist, unlimited extensions, unlimited internet fax and a dial-by-name directory. The voice and messaging services can also be accessed from any VoIP enabled phone having an internet connection.
The cloud presents even low-priced solutions for determined and tech savvy persons. Almost everyone can buy a United States phone number by using Skype for just 6 dollars per month with unlimited incoming calls with the Skype Online Number. This has the choice of using a Skype-enabled mobile phone or a headset. The combination of Skype and Google Voice services helps users to make free outgoing calls to all the Canadian and US numbers with the worldwide calling rates of 0.02 dollars per minute. This combination also helps the users to dial and receive calls and access the voicemail by using any internet enabled computer or a Smartphone.
Away from the consumer markets and Server Message Block, the telecommunication companies are also on attack on the business front. Microsoft Lync is a venture-ready combined communications program and it has come forward to be highly known in corporate America. Not only offering the conventional voice communications, this company also offers the facilities like instant messaging, audio and video conferencing, web chat, mobile applications and integrated Microsoft Office applications. It was basically an on-premise solution and the other companies like Chinook Communications and snom technology AG have also started to offer services as a cloud-hosted solution for SMBs.
The only advantage that the conventional telecommunication companies have is the inertia when these are brought to the competition with the cloud-hosted voice services. What they are presenting is poor quality service at extravagant costs and they are simply using their brand-recognition for keeping themselves floating in the market. The cloud service providers can sell their customers a service which is better and cheaper.
The telecommunication companies like AT&T, Time Warner and Verizon must learn to adapt to the cloud services otherwise that day is near when the voice communications will be in the hands of IT departments, SMB IT consultants and managed service providers.